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The socio-economic spill-over effects of armed conflict on neighbouring countries

Höhne-Sparborth, Thomas (2018) The socio-economic spill-over effects of armed conflict on neighbouring countries. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.526utg7clzgg


This thesis explores the channels by which armed conflict may have wider regional effects through socio-economic spill-over effects. Collier (1999) has explored the economic consequences of civil war and other authors such as Murdoch and Sandler (2004) and de Groot (2010) have sought to verify the existence of neighbourhood effects through quantitative, large-N studies. These studies have only found mixed evidence of a net negative effect and have failed to identify the channels through which conflict affects neighbouring countries. This thesis adopts a case study approach to complement the longitudinal studies that have dominated the analysis of spill-over effects, focusing its primary case study on the example of Zambia, which experienced prolonged exposure to conflicts in Rhodesia, Mozambique, Angola and the DRC. Progressing from a survey of potential spill-over effects postulated in the existing literature, this thesis finds that the actual neighbourhood effects on Zambia have been more numerous and more ambiguous than previously acknowledged. In separate chapters on trade and investment, human capital and migration, food security, and military expenditure, this thesis assesses the range of effects by which these conflicts affected Zambia’s development. The thesis argues that trade and investment, agricultural policies, food security, and the escalation of government debt were affected by the pattern of regional instability, often in unexpected ways that defy easy generalisation. In addition to the Zambian case, the thesis offers a comparison with examples from Malawi, Belize, Jordan and Thailand. These supporting case studies demonstrate that the mechanisms identified in the study have widespread relevance in varied conflict situations, but that the net effect of individual channels of spill-over are dependent on local risk factors and policies. The thesis concludes with the provision of a framework outlining the various channels by which spill-over occurs, the risk factors involved, and possible policy responses.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Thomas Höhne-Sparborth
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > International Development
Supervisor: Venugopal, Rajesh and Green, Elliott

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